You might drive over a nail on a highway, a country road, or even in a city (good thing you have that warranty, right?).
When you do that, it will poke a hole in your tyre and get stuck in it, usually without you knowing. Can you drive if your tyre has a nail in it?
If you have a nail in your tyre, you shouldn’t drive because it could make the tyre dangerously flat or cause it to blow out. For safe driving, the tyre should be fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
Read on to find out what could happen if you drive with a nail in your tyre.
What Happens if You Drive with a Nail in Your Tire?
When you have a nail in your tyre, there are a lot of things going on with it that need your attention right away.
Once the nail is in your tyre, the good news is that it will probably still hold enough air pressure for you to drive to a nearby service station or tyre store.
But that doesn’t always happen.
Depending on the size of the nail, how it got into the tyre, and how much damage it may have caused, there may be other cuts or punctures on the tyre. This could cause the tyre to lose air much faster than you expect.
If you have a nail in your tyre, you may also be more likely to have a blowout, especially if you keep driving your car for a long time and at a fast speed.
Some nails may be very short and not do much damage to your tyre, but longer nails may go through the shoulder and sidewall of your tyre. If this happens, it does a lot of damage to the structure and strength of your tyre.
Because of this, your tyre could overheat, the tread could separate, and it could even explode, which could lead to a very serious accident.
If the nail that poked a hole in your tyre is short, it probably won’t stop air from escaping. So, as you drive longer, you will lose more air pressure.
Eventually, you’ll be surprised to find that you’re driving on a flat tyre, which could also lead to a blowout!
How Long Can You Drive with a Nail in Your Tire?
When you find a nail in your tyre and see that it’s not letting any air out, you might think that driving around with that nail in your tyre for a long time won’t hurt anything.
You are wrong if you think this way.
Even though you probably didn’t notice the nail in your tyre right away, like most drivers, this doesn’t mean everything is fine if you have driven a long way. In fact, you should assume the worst and take your car right away to a service centre.
Based on the advice of people who know a lot about nails in tyres, we’ve found that you should only drive as far as you need to get your car home or to a service centre, where the tyre can be fixed or replaced.
If you keep driving with that nail in your tyre for a long time, it’s likely that you’ll do more and more damage to your tyre.
The nail may also be hurting the sidewall and shoulder of the tyre as you drive, as well as the tread.
Since tyres can only take so much stress before they overheat and the tread starts to come apart, you risk a blowout if you don’t get your tyre looked at as soon as possible.
Can a Tire Explode from a Nail?
We’ve probably told you more than once that yes, a nail in a tyre can make it explode.
Since you probably won’t notice that your tyre has a nail in it, this makes it more likely that the tyre will explode.
Even if the nail doesn’t cause your tyre to lose air pressure, it will still be damaged. So, if you are driving normally and your tyre hits a pothole or other rough spot on the road, which puts more pressure on the tyre, an explosion could happen.
Since tyres often blow out when they get too hot, going faster on the highway can also make it more likely that a tyre will blow.
If your tyre is losing air, more of it is touching the road as you drive, which is not good. This causes more friction, which, along with possible damage to the shoulder and sidewall, could cause an explosion.
In some cases, you might be lucky enough to notice right away that your tyre has a nail in it.
If you hear a clicking sound that seems to come from outside the car while you are driving, it is likely that there is a nail in one of your tyres.
Also, if you feel like one of your tyres is thumping as you drive, this could mean that a nail has poked a hole in it and is letting air out. If this happens, you should pull over right away and find out what is going on.
If you don’t, the nail could keep letting air out of your tyre until it drops below 20 pounds per square inch. At that point, you would be driving with a flat tyre.
How to Temporarily Fix a Nail in Your Tire
If you are driving and find a nail in your tyre, you can fix it until you can get it to a mechanic.
The first step is, of course, to take the nail out of the tyre.
Most of the time, you can do this by gently pulling the nail out with a claw hammer. If you pull too hard, you could damage the tyre even more, possibly to the point where you have to get a new one.
Once the nail is out, many people choose to use a can of spray foam rubber that is made to fill holes in tyres. The can usually has a long point that fits into the hole and can be bought for a few dollars at almost any auto parts or retail store. This makes it easy for the spray to get into the hole.
Stop spraying when the foam reaches the top of the hole.
This can get you back on the road quickly and on your way to a service centre because it gets hard almost right away.
How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Tire with a Nail In It?
If the nail went through your tyre closer to the middle than to the edges, the good news is that it probably won’t cost you more than a few dollars to fix it.
When you take your car to a service centre, a worker will check your tyre to see if it is one that can be fixed. If that’s the case, the tyre will be taken off your car and a patch put over the hole to seal it.
This will probably only cost between $10 and $20 for a professional to fix.
If a nail punctures one of your tyres and you can get your car to the tyre dealer where you bought the tyres, most dealers will fix the tyre for free. This is something to keep in mind.
But only try this if your tyre dealer is close by.
If you don’t, you might drive too far on a tyre that is very damaged, which could cause you to get into a serious accident.
Will I Need a New Tire if I Run Over a Nail?
It will depend on a lot of things. First, if the nail is closer to the tire’s edges, the nail may have damaged the sidewalls and shoulder, so you’ll probably need a new tyre.
Also, if you ran over a big nail, like one from a roof, this makes it more likely that you’ll need a new tyre.
When a nail pokes a hole in a tyre, if the hole is bigger than 1/4 inch, the tyre needs to be replaced.
Lastly, how long you’ve been driving with the nail in your tyre will also affect whether it can be fixed or needs to be replaced. Many people make the mistake of driving with nails in their tyres, which is dangerous.
So, they end up buying a new tyre when, in many cases, the tyre could have been fixed for much less money.
Don’t wait around if you find a nail in your tyre. By having a mechanic look at it right away, you can get back on the road and drive safely.